What do bearded dragons like to play with?
Surprisingly, it’s not just you. They don’t want to spend all their playtime sitting in your hands.
There are a lot of toys and activities that will keep your bearded dragon happy when you take them out the tank.
What Do Bearded Dragons Like To Play With?
Bearded dragons enjoy playing with balls, running through tunnels, lounging on floaties while in water, and a number of other things. They enjoy anything that provides them with stimulation. If you give them the chance to experience toys and activities they’ll have a happy life.
If possible you should definitely pick up a few bearded dragon toys to keep them entertained. And letting your dragon enjoy playing with different objects in new environments is great too. Here are some of the best activities and toys for bearded dragons.
Best Bearded Dragon Toys
- Cat wands
- Laser pens
1 Balls – The thought of a bearded dragon playing with balls sounds strange to some people, but once you expose your dragon to a ball they’ll have a great time. It’s one of the easiest toys for bearded dragon owners to pick up. In fact, you might already have one sitting around.
Just remember you don’t want the ball to be too big. Tennis balls are okay for large bearded dragons because they’re a good size plus they’re not rock solid. Squash balls are better for baby bearded dragons because they’re not as powerful as fully grown ones.
When your bearded dragon is playing with the ball one of two things will happen:
- Pushing the ball
- Attacking the ball
Pushing the ball – Make sure your bearded dragon has lots of space to move and roll the ball past them. Watch as they try to time it perfectly before lunging towards the ball. Some dragons won’t be interested in running after it, so you’ll need to grab the ball and start again.
Attacking the ball – If your bearded dragon sees the ball as a threat it might try to attack it. You will notice this happening in the beginning when it’s getting used to the ball. Everything should be okay but just keep an eye on your dragon to make sure it’s not getting too stressed.
Cool Bearded Dragon Games – Feeder Ball
A cool game you can play involves getting a transparent ball covered in small holes. You’ll need transparent sticky tape to cover all the holes, but before you close the last one throw some live insects inside. Your bearded dragon will go completely crazy trying to catch them.
Make sure you let your bearded dragon eat the insects once you’ve finished your game. They’ll begin to get stressed out once they realize they’ll never get the live insects no matter what they do.
2 Cat wands – Bearded dragons enjoy playing with a few different cat toys, but wands are the most enjoyable to use. It’s similar to the kind of fun you’ll have playing with a ball, but it’s good to mix bearded dragon games up once in a while so they get to experience new things.
Stay away from any cat wands made from materials your bearded dragon will be able to tear apart with their teeth. You don’t want them to start choking on fabrics and feathers. If you don’t find any you like it’s possible to make a DIY cat wand using materials you’ve got at home.
Just follow the same rules and don’t use any materials they’ll be able to swallow.
3 Tunnels – You can keep tunnels inside their tank, or you can pick up bigger ones to use on the floor when your bearded dragon is out. If you look online there are a huge amount of options available. They come in lots of different shapes and sizes so they cater to different animals.
If you want to make the experience more enjoyable for your bearded dragon you should put a few insects inside the tunnels. It’s also going to encourage them to explore the tunnels if it seems like their mind is on something else. Just don’t let any live insects escape inside your home.
Please Note: There is great excavator clay you can purchase at the pet shop or on websites like Amazon. It allows you to build cool DIY tunnels inside the bearded dragon tank. If you have a large vivarium and enough excavator clay you can build something absolutely spectacular.
4 Floaties – Can bearded dragons swim? They’re actually really good swimmers considering their size plus the fact wild dragons live in hot environments lacking water. To a bearded dragon swimming is pretty relaxing because their body allows them to float once they’ve inhaled air.
Even though bearded dragons can float in water they still need to rest regularly, so you should get them a small inflatable float to relax on. It also gives you peace of mind when they’re in the water because you don’t need to worry if you need to look away for a few seconds.
Bring the bearded dragon float out every time you’re giving your dragon a bath. Let them spend some time chilling for 10 minutes afterwards to give them some stimulation outside their tank.
5 Hideouts – Do bearded dragons need a hide in their tank? Of course they need somewhere to go when they’re stressed out, but it doesn’t need to be boring. You can choose from a vast amount of hideouts online and you’ll be able to find cool designs to fit all vivarium sizes.
Your dragon will enjoy exploring a new hideout and is likely to spend lots of time there. We’ve already talked about using excavator clay to build tunnels, but you can use it to create hideouts too. Bearded dragons love digging into clay so they could even make their own.
6 Laser pens – Some of the first options we looked at involved you playing a big part in playtime. If you want to chill out on the couch while your bearded dragon plays games you can get a laser pen. Make sure you don’t shine the laser in their eyes because it could hurt them.
Move the laser around the bearded dragon playpen and they’ll mistake it for a live insect. Just remember your dragon will eventually get bored and annoyed. So would you when you finally realize you’re not actually attacking a bug. It’s why you should play this game before meal time.
Once you’ve finished you can feed your bearded dragon and they’ll be happy. Although it’s a bit weird, laser pens are also a good way to keep your dragon trained to hunt live food, which they’ll benefit from along with the exercise. Two things they would get to do all day in the wild.
7 Hammocks – Hopefully you have a bearded dragon tank large enough to squeeze a hammock inside. Your dragon will love swinging slowly in the hammock and you won’t need to bring them outside to use it. Some bearded dragon stuff is great for spicing up their surroundings.
If you find a good bearded dragon hammock on Amazon it should give you a size. You’ll be able to work out whether or not the vivarium is large enough to house it. If your tank is too small you should still get one to let the dragon lie on it while it’s outside playing.
Best Activities For Bearded Dragons To Enjoy
It’s not just bearded dragon toys that will keep your pet stimulated. The activities you choose to do with dragons plays a huge part in their great life too. Here are some of the top choices bearded dragon owners seem to love in case you’re interested in trying them out:
- Hunting for food on their own
- Going for a walk outside
- Swimming in the bathtub
- Watching from the window
Hunting for food on their own – A bearded dragon hunting for food in their vivarium isn’t exactly a challenge. Every predator should be given the chance to hunt their own food to hone their instincts. If you let live insects roam your bearded dragon will be able to hunt them down.
I’d suggest doing this in some kind of bearded dragon playpen that prevents the insects from escaping inside your home. You don’t want to do it outside or they might get away before your dragon has a chance to get close to them. Don’t do it if you don’t have a suitable space.
You probably hoped your bearded dragon was most excited by getting to spend time with you, but in reality hunting insects is what will please them most. A dragon can go from zero to 60 in an instant. Make sure they finish eating all the insects so they don’t end up vanishing.
Please Note: Only do this with live insects you buy from the shop. If you let your bearded dragon hunt insects crawling around in your garden it’s likely to end up with nasty parasites.
Going for a walk outside – Grab your bearded dragon leash and take your pet for a walk outside. I know it’s hilarious seeing your bearded dragon on a leash for the first time, but it’s a highly effective way to explore outside without them going missing forever.
In the beginning, your dragon isn’t going to like being strapped into a harness attached to a leash. But after a few enjoyable walks it’s going to get used to it. That is how long it takes until your bearded dragon associates wearing a harness and leash with having fun.
Once your dragon is on the leash they won’t get lost, but there are a few other things you’ll need to keep an eye on at all times:
- Avoid recently sprayed pesticides
- Don’t let them eat any insects
- Watch out for deadly predators
Swimming in the bathtub – Once bearded dragons take a breath they float on water like a balloon. And they will start waving their little limbs around quickly to zoom through the water. When a dragon swims with their body submerged they look like a mini crocodile.
There are a few things you need know about to keep your bearded dragon safe while they’re swimming:
- Avoid chlorinated water
- The right temperature
- Keep a close eye on them
Avoid chlorinated water – Don’t let your bearded dragon swim around if it’s in your swimming pool. The chlorinated water isn’t good for them. In fact, any water with chemicals should be avoided. If you have a pond in the garden it should be okay provided it’s the correct temperature.
The right temperature – Bearded dragons are cold blooded so they can’t swim in water that’s too cold. The temperature should be at least lukewarm which you’ll be able to test with your fingers. So it might be okay to let them swim outside in summer but definitely not winter.
Keep a close eye on them – The reason why bearded dragons die while swimming is because they get exhausted. Even if your dragon has only been in the water a few minutes you never know what that will happen. It’s best to stay on the safe side and keep an eye on them at all times.
The easiest way to let your bearded dragon swim is by giving them time to play around in the bath once they’ve been bathed. You can choose the temperature of the water and it’s not going to be filled with chemicals. If your dragon appears to be stressed take them out.
Watching from the window – Sometimes bearded dragons like to watch the world go by, so there is no better way to do this that let them sit at the window. Do you live somewhere with people, animals, or vehicles passing? Watching things move is a good way to relieve boredom.
Bearded dragons watch TV too, although I’m pretty sure they don’t follow along with the plot lines of movies. But anything to stimulate them regularly is a good thing. Don’t turn the volume up too loud because the extreme noises can stress your dragon out.
You can also put your bearded dragon in front of a mirror for some enjoyment, but they might get annoyed with it after a while. Pay close attention to your dragon when they’re out because looking at things could be too stressful. There are a couple of signs they’ll give you:
- Trying to hide
- Arm waving
- Slow head bobbing
What Do Bearded Dragons Like To Play With?
Now you should have a good idea what kinds of toys bearded dragons like to play with, plus you’ll have lots of extra activities you can do together. Everything we’ve talked about today is going to benefit your dragon in so many ways, including making them much happier.